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Whitney Johns: The Sweetest Relief

 

SpiritualitySan Diego, CAWhen I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast;

When the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast.

I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path;

For my love is often cold; He must hold me fast.

He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;

For my Savior loves me so, He will hold me fast.

Oh how I must let God down. But no! His love for me is great! His love for me is patient!

Oh how I must let God down. But no! His love for me is great! His love for me is patient!

These are lyrics to a song that has gripped my heart, a song that has made my voice tremble when I sing it’s words, and a song whose lyrics of truth have been a sweet relief to my soul.

If my salvation were up to me, I’d be toast. Burnt toast at best. If my salvation were up to me, the law of God would stand against me with it’s legal demands. The law of God requires perfect obedience. Left on my own, I am utterly aware of the gap between God’s holiness and my sinfulness. On my own, I am utterly aware of my disobedience. On my own, I cannot bridge the massive gap between myself and the one true holy God.

A few weeks ago, I asked a 1st grader who is learning the truths of the bible, “Am I a good person?”

She answered with a very blunt and matter-of-fact, “Nope”.

The confident answer is pretty funny, but it made me smile because it is true. She knew the right answer. I am not a good person. And I’ll very bluntly and matter-of-factly tell you the same truth… You are not a good person.

The law of God, in its very simplest form, requires that I love God with all my heart and love other people as I love myself. If I take an honest look at myself, I know that I fail at this daily. Every day, I fail to love God with all my heart. Every day, I fail to love other people as I love myself. Instead, I usually choose to love myself with all my heart.

And no matter how hard I try… I    just    can’t    get    it    right.

If my salvation were up to me, these daily failings would leave me constantly distressed, anxious, and fearful. The gap between God and myself would be ever present before me.

However, as Robert Thune writes in The Gospel Centered Life, “As my understanding of my sin and God’s holiness grows, something else also grows: my appreciation and love for Jesus. His mediation, his sacrifice, his righteousness, and his gracious work on my behalf become increasingly sweet and powerful to me. The cross looms larger and more central in my life as I rejoice in the Savior who died upon it.”

Jesus kept God’s law without fault. He lived a life of perfect obedience. When he died on the cross, the full wrath of God towards all my sin and all your sin was poured out on perfect Jesus.  He died, and it was finished. There is no more wrath left for those who trust in Jesus.

He rose from the dead three days later and presented himself to many witnesses, proving he was the son of God. And now Jesus sits on the throne in heaven, and guess what he does…

He holds me fast.

My salvation is not up to me. I no longer have to stare at the massive gap between God and I. Jesus bridged that gap. My salvation is now completely up to the finished work of Jesus on the cross. And that work is finished! Jesus’s work on the cross is what holds me fast. Never letting me go.

I have trusted in Jesus’s substitutional death in my place, and now Jesus holds me fast. Despite my daily shortcomings, Jesus holds me fast. My salvation rests not in my own works. Your salvation and my salvation hinges only on the life and death of Jesus.

Oh how I must let God down. But no! His love for me is great! His love for me is patient!

I could never keep my own hold, but Christ will hold me fast.

Yes, my love is often cold, but He will hold me fast.

If my salvation were up to me, my soul would shudder at the reality.

Up to me, I’m toast. Burnt toast at best.

But there is a sweet relief:

He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;

For my Savior loves me so, He will hold me fast.

“When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast.

I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path;
For my love is often cold; He must hold me fast.

He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
For my Savior loves me so, He will hold me fast.

Those He saves are His delight, Christ will hold me fast;
Precious in his holy sight, He will hold me fast.

He’ll not let my soul be lost; His promises shall last;
Bought by Him at such a cost, He will hold me fast.

For my life He bled and died, Christ will hold me fast;
Justice has been satisfied; He will hold me fast.

Raised with Him to endless life, He will hold me fast
‘Till our faith is turned to sight, When He comes at last!”

Listen to the sweet relieving truths of this song here.

 

-WJ


About Whitney Johns

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